Togo Travel Stories, Page 41

Togo Peanuts

Togo Peanuts
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 8, 2007

Cooking peanuts or dry cooking the peanuts over a fire with some sand or soil intermixed with the peanuts.

This is
- Arrishide -
Peanuts in some language, does not seem to be French, but then again, I do not trust dictionaries. The word in my French dictionary says the word for peanuts is a Female and Cacahuète, almost the same as the Mexican word, and I think Argentina, while most or Central and South America say Mani.

Walking along, talking with Michael, and trying to locate the weavers in the city of Kpalime, when he stops to chat up one some girl. I wonder over to check out the peanuts being cooked.

How, I am not sure, they are not fried, this is not baked

They pop popcorn the same way in Nepal, very dry and not the best popcorn, fortunately they use oil here for the popcorn and the taste is better. The peanut come out good, and cooked ones are better than the boiled or raw.

The girls is wearing this very wear around the house, typical wrap around dress. The actually will wear it anywhere, but they tend to be closer to home. It is held up the same way, you would overlap a towel as you get leave the shower.

This tends to make them need to balloon it out and readjust, not the type of clothing that allows for rapid movement. Not a big worry about getting in a hurry or straining yourself here in West Africa.

There is often the Midwest shyness thing, and I often feel like I am walking in as a girl is just coming out of the shower. They do not mind, so I my best.

I took a few photos and the girl pretends to ignore me.

Togo Peanuts

Easter in Togo

Easter in Togo
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 8, 2007

In the name of love…
- Bono

Photo of a band playing and a mob of people celebrating Easter and walking around the city waking everyone.

5:00 AM, or earlier, the noise, I suppose I finally awoke around this time…

In the name of love.

Aagh, right when I am hoping to clarify and find the correct lyrics the internet stop working.

I will go for the Encarta Encyclopedia on my computer, it is better in a way than the internet.

Quote from another song of the group U2 and the singer by the name or maybe taken name of Bono

I have climbed highest mountains,
I have run through the fields,
Only to be with you...
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

Irish rock group.
Song lyric.
The Joshua Tree, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"

Ok, those words could be the motto or any traveler.

Bono is more or less means good in French, or some adaptation of the Latin, Spanish, or Italian of the word good. His real name appears to be
- Paul Hewson, known as Bono -

Does it mean good, I have no idea.

The lyrics of one of the song, is something about what we do for love, and I love this song, there is something of an inspiration to say, or to think, what we do in the name of love. Love is the ingredient that pushes a person to obsessive levels.

Somerset Maugham wrote a book or play called the Razors Edge, where somehow over the rainbow I discovered in a movie by the same name with Bill Murray in it, in the movie to quote incorrect or badly, Bill Murray says,

- Love without passion is not love. -

The Razor’s Edge, motion picture about a young man who searches for the meaning of life after being disillusioned by his experiences during World War I (1914-1918), based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham.

As best I can surmise, in 1984 there was a remake of the movie and it starred Bill Murray. Maybe it cannot be viewed as starred as I think the world considers this movie a flop or failure. I on the other hand, consider it one of the greatest movies ever made, but then again, it is my passion, therefore my love. The movies to me is imbued with profound insights.

I find the concepts and loves of the movies, the searching and drifting of the main character as a awe inspiring explanation of the true nature of people in the world.

Passion, I just had a band of 10 people walking, playing instruments, and making enough noise to wake me, visit the church next door to the Auberge Mandela, and next to room 4 window playing music.

- In the name of love. -
Passion.. Love without passion, is not love.

When a suicide bomber, kills himself or herself in the middle of a pizza parlor in Israel. They do in in the name of love, maybe obsessive love, but in the name of Love.

When a band plays, waking me up, and every other person in the neighborhood as an EASTER or Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. A very confusing celebration for me, Andy a Christian.

They killed Christ on the cross and he suffered a human death, and was sacrificed by God, the father, gave his son to die a human death. This bargain as made it return for the ability to give humans paradise or heaven.

That part that evades me, is if you die for me, then stay dead, do not wake up or arise after three days and we call it Easter. But, I do not argue with Gods and think, nope, I am to accept.

Oh well, not really important me, Michael was asking me about God the other day, and I said,
- Look at that girl. -

I said,
- Is she good or bad? -
Michael looks, at me, and says,
- I cannot know. -

I say,
- Stop thinking, and tell me, -
I push him, shove him emotionally to make a decision,
- Is she good or bad. -

He denies knowledge, again, and I say,
- YOU know. -

Ok, she is good.

This knowledge is God to me, is no more, no less, the ability to know good from bad. The refusal to see good is a small fight with God, the denial of good in the person the refusal to accept the girl was more or less a good girl is difficult, and a fight with God.

There is a good spot and a bad spot in all people, the dominant force in the person is my view of God. If I see and can see good and evil, I am accepting of the powers of God, to see a brother or sister.

I see my job on the planet, is to not fight with God, but to obey, do the next right thing. (Note, I am not saying what is written in books is what God wants me to do.) Thereby keeping the monkey off my back, that goes by the name… Guilt or Shame.

I can go on and say, when I do a bad deed, I need to say I am sorry and change.

Simple as I can say how to live, take a look at the person next you, give them a feel, if good, then continue, if bad try to avoid. If you do something bad, say you sorry and stop it. If you continue, you are a bad person. I believe a person understand this, and a good person understands, and now while reading this the bad person is starting to get angry.

However, the truly bad, stopped reading at the mere mention of Easter, in anger.

Fun stuff, there is this big whirlwind over the planet, and it spins out good and bad, and in the name of God people go and kill, and kill, and kill and continue to kill. But there is a lot more good than killing.

I see the mob of Christians waking me as about the same as a suicide bomber, but a small bit safer. If I disagreed or ask them to stop, or to told them to love me as their neighbor, they could kill me in their protection of their right to invade my space and disturb me.

Taking a photos is safe 1 in 100 times because we naturally would afraid and run if there was danger, or obey demands made. Give me you camera, or give me money, or placate them to appease and stop the anger. Safe, but in the harms way.

Like they said in the movie the Razors edge, the path or road to salvation is long and narrow, like a Razors Edge.

Good fun and interesting and because I feel no guilt today, I can say and do as I feel and think, (Which is to do Good, maybe God.) fully knowing temptation is life, and not a complicated as you think to avoid. I just do not fight or argue with that voice that says,
- Andy, do not do this, this is bad. -

Note, to go around a neighborhood and wake everyone in the name of love is not love, and to do it every day of the week would be hate. Somewhere, on the edge of the razor is the correct path.

The women following up the rear, and older women, all in white came up and shook my hand, whirled, spinning and danced away. See what looks like a moon in the photo… I am not where or why.

Easter in Togo

Togo Rainfall

Togo Rainfall
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 7, 2007

I started raining about 10:00 am and has turned into a daylong drencher here in Togo.

There is GREEN at the bottom of Togo.
The green on this map is where there is rain forest.

Rainforest (2)
- Tropical rain forests are located near the equator where the temperature hovers around 27° C (80° F) year-round. Although they cover, less than 10 percent of the Earth’s surface, tropical rain forests provide habitat for 50 to 90 percent of the world’s plant and animal species. -

Then another

Togo Climate
- The climate of Togo is tropical. Average annual temperatures range from 27°C (81°F) at the coast to 30°C (86°F) in the north. The south has two rainy seasons, from March to July and from October to November; the average annual rainfall on the coast is about 890 mm (about 35 in). It doubles in the mountains a few kilometers inland. The north has one rainy season (April to July) and receives nearly all of its annual precipitation (1,140 mm/45 in) during this period. - (2)

I would say, the prediction is rain. It is cooler now.

A rain forest is in fun in way, too wet sometimes; however, when there is an extremely good rain forest the overabundance of green is amazing. Water plus Soil equals green.

Of all the places on the planet to complain about lack of food, the one place I am not too excited to hear, is in a rain forest. The green explodes in a true rainforest, I am not going to say that Togo is a true rainforest, for one thing, most of the forest is missing, long ago logged for the Mahogany and other woods, and now used as the fuel to cook. There has been an environmental shock given to this area by my guess the loggers, and continues for firewood.

I believe the food grows so easily in Togo; they do not even weed the gardens or care to clear the land properly. They in a way just turn the soil over; plant the seeds in big mounds and hope.

This is a photo of a large mound of dirt, as I understand in each mound they planted a Yam. The mounds are made in this teepee fashion so the heavy and persistent rain has a trough for the water to flow around the mounds, however allowing the yam to remain. This is not as easy to learn about as you think.

I have been talking with a friend in the USA about Africa farmland. There is something missing in this puzzle, or there is some confusion here. The land is flat, too much water, plenty of cheap labor, and the land under tilled or cultivated. As best I can farm is less than 25 percent of the land that could be farmed, and I am being nice.

I do not see this country and having any cash crops, they have garden crops they sell in the local markets. However, the actual, we grow this for cash, and sell to the world is hard to see. Ivory Coast or the areas closer to Ivory Coast are better, while in the Ivory Coast I could see cash crops grown easily.

Togo eats rice as one of their staple diets, and I do not remember ever seeing rice grown here. Now, it does require more work to grow rice and working hard is not culturally normal, or I do not see it.

I see most of the rice imported from Thailand or from a bag, that says the USA, but I think from India or Thailand and sold an Uncle Sam Rice, they also have Uncle Bob.

I am not sure, seems like a great place in Togo, Ghana and Benin to start a large farm business. I think the Ivory Coast is already doing well.

I have never seen a typical rain forest in Togo; however, they are doing an exceptionally good job of burning West Africa to cook. In addition, the loggers did and exceptionally good job of cutting down all the trees for lumber. This place is flat, easy to do all this.

Togo Rainfall

Swiming The Amazon

Swimming The Amazon
Kpalime, Togo West Africa

I was reading on Hobo World New page.

A great way for me to get quick overview of the world new and make Iran still exist...
I picked up on this story about a man who swam the Amazon River from beginning to end.

My first thought was, hmm, wonder where he chose or how he chose the location of the beginning of the Amazon. I mused on this point too much and have spent time looking at maps, while in Bolivia and think the very start is around Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

I looked at his map, and this is really quite an amazing feat, and for sure qualifies as extreme travel.
(What do you think, will this BBC link eventually break?)

He is an Extreme Traveler.

I got immediate fear thinking about swimming down the Amazon. I cringed and imagined a Piranha going for my privates. I have swam in the Amazon but while with great self-talk saying continually to myself,
- They will not bite me, this is just a story, and happens only in movies.-

Swimming The Amazon

Togo Cacao Agro Tourism

Togo Cacao Agro Tourism
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 7, 2007

Agriculture - Tourism

I am an Agro Tourist, I try and wish, hope, dream of seeing how people grow agricultural produce.

I am also a ethnic group tourist, I like to study or learn about, compare similarity and differences of ethnic groups.

I am not sure how to explain, blog, think, conceptualize on these subjects in a simple way. It almost requires I write a complicate book on the subject to have a beginning, middle and end.

I am going to
- Dollar My Way Through -

This is my term, I stole from a Man in Pie de La Cuesta, Mexico when I asked him how he was able to cross all the borders from Argentina to Mexico with his pet dog.

He said,
- I dollar-ed my way through. -

He pretend to pound dollars down on the sand, reaching in his rear pocket for his wallet, pantomiming pulling out a wallet and pounding the paper money on the table, which at the moment was sand.

This is shown in movies often, a popular way of paying a person off, or giving a bribe. A person shows to another person, a big pile of money, starts pulling money off the top and placing in front of the other person.

Slap, slap, slap, slap, then looks.
- Is that enough? -

The nod, says, No

Slap, slap, the eyes say,
- Take it or leave it. -

The negotiation of putting an overwhelming amount of money on the table to buy a persons cooperation. They say everyone has a price, I would say this is more or less, correct but with some really large conditions on payment.

The payment may include waiting on the other person for days, the payment required large amounts of patience.

Cacao or Cocoa, I wish to see how they grown the plant that is used to make Chocolate.

Eco-tourism is supposed to be a type of tourism, that would give a way for the local people to earn money by tourism as an alternative to destructive ways of ecologically living.

That sentence is why I need to write a book to explain, now to write a book a good book is written by a person that should we hope understand the topic of their book. Well, in the course of writing a book, a good blog post, or writing in my diary, I sometimes start on a topic that has a never ending thread of ideas, questions and topics.

To talk about Agro-tourism or Ethnic Groups tourism or the type of tourism where I reference in a prior post about learning how people make money. Eric recommending call this:
- Livelihood tourism? -
It is somehow, the learning about how a person makes a living tourism.

Eco-tourism was explained by Frommer, the man or editor, something of the Magazine and Books, Guides wrote a comment, something but not exactly.
- A great idea, that has gone astray. -
Maybe it was a noble idea, that has gone astray.

Eco-tourism is 99 percent marketing by con men, and one percent … hehehe - by highly in-effective people, as I blogged about before, and then the summation of these figures is where you can go on eco-tourism tours.

When I drank, I drank Gin and Tonics, heavy on the lime, and light on the tonic. If you understand, in a big glass.

Ok, back to the Chocolate, I could say Cacao, but this is confusing. I want to go see how Chocolate is grown.

I am accepting, when I want to quickly do this Agro-tourism thingy, I need to dollars my way through. I cannot find a tour company yet, they do not seem to know anything about farming, they do know tattoos and dreads, but farming, something the whole planet does, appears to be too complicated.

OK, I have found by accident, I have the opportunity to go and, look I hope at a Chocolate Factory, that is started in a field, north of the city of Kpalime. I will maybe go on Tuesday with the man, and pay whatever his dollar or CFA account requires. Then I will continually focus him on Chocolate… a.k.a. Also Known As - Cacao or Cocao.

I fear he will want me to eat Togo food and talk to his family more, and he can show off the white me, look, I have a friend, and I become the tour for them. Focus, please remember the dollars, focus, stay with the I want to buy you to show me, I am being patient. The pay will includes extreme amounts of patience, I cannot buy anyone.

I can dollar my way to the village, and learn, there is not Cocoa or Chocolate here, then become very frustrated, and think. I have to try again to write this book.

To look at crops, to learn about Agriculture is a timing thing, I have to be extremely lucky or pay a small fortune to do it, I have to dollars my way there. Somewhere, today, there is a person on the planet harvesting and then we hope starting the processing of Chocolate. IF you want to be a chocolate tourist, you need to fly there and wait.

To see this, and to understand, I have to intermix and intertwine my life with a person with very little English education and totally bewildered why I would want to see Cacoa, something that they see every day of their life. The cannot for one minute believe,
- Why would a white man pay money to see Cacao. -

But, if he is willing to slap a large amount of Dollars down, I will pretend and go along with him and take his money for being foolish. This is agro-tourism in a nutshell, go and see something that the person showing you considers and thinks you are stupid. Everyone knows about Chocolate or Cacao, this is common knowledge.

I know about corn, wheat, and hay, how to bale hay, I also know how to pick stones from a field. My friends in University would make fun of me and I would think, little do they know how stupid a city kid can be, I have them right where I want them. Thinking they are smart.

Ok, I have decided to hope and go look at Chocolate being grown as small beans, or something.

On essential note, if you wish to be an agro-tourist, do all your research before you go, as right here in the Cacao or Chocolate country land of Togo, there is NO information to be found, and I am not going to even bother to look, I have done this too many times.

With the help of the Encarta Encyclopedia and the GPRS Internet connections I can take my only in my imagination Chocolate tour into real fields and real peoples homes and pay them too much to see the stupid white man look at what they see as common.

I also have simultaneously under the Request for photos in the help center got these boys from India wanting some photos for a book. What a good timing of the world with reality.

Life is good, then there is Chocolate, as advice that is sage, remember,
- Girls love Chocolate. -

Togo Cacao Agro Tourism

Highly Ineffective People

Highly Ineffective People
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Saturday, April 7, 2007

We need a fun book on this.

No high powered, effective businessperson is going to very happy working for a save-the-planet, do everything wrong NGO or ONG. The Non Governmental Organizations and the United Nations and such are so full of highly ineffective and non-solution producing individuals that not self-respecting producing person would be associated.

There is a book called,
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook
- By: Covey, Stephen R.

There is also a book called the - One Minute Manager, by someone, and somewhere, but more or less about effective and quick goal setting for workers.

I have read both, and now think we need the opposite books, how to do the opposite for good fun, with cartoons, graphics and fun laugh at ourselves, and cry explanations.

- The 7 Habits of Highly In-Effective People
or maybe.
- The 7 Habits of Highly NON-Effective People

The One Minute Mis-Manager.
(It may already exist.)

Ok, I am one of the worst motivators and managers, I know this, I micromanage every worker, and then moralize until they quit, I need a book on how to effectively ignore and over-look, not see any problems by workers.

However, the telling a person how to be effective can sometimes be achieve by telling them in a book, non-threatening, not pointing the finger way, you are doing this.

I cannot find the list of the 7 habits of effective people now, easy and quickly, or I would list them, however, the concepts of books are simple and as is common with good solutions, the are common sense and easy to understand and evade 99 percent of people, so they need books to read and not internalize. We put on a shelf and pretend this is us.

I have been musing and laughing, there is a good case study to done in Africa, and easy to accomplish because of the high ratio of ONG-NGO people in the White Population here. I can find a project worker with extreme ease that is highly ineffective.

Therefore to study and muse about how to be in-effective is easy to study.

How to do every-thing wrong, I can write a book, because the people who demonstrate how to be highly ineffective are here. Then I have to do this big search to find who has already written the book.

Somewhere, I wish to be more effective at having all the answers to my questions readily available. I think a highly effective person can collect, find, and retrieve notes, ideas an answers at warp speed.

(Note - think, try to really think, I am in Africa, and I am doing this, I write in riddles.)

While for a high ineffective person, they do not even get close to the root problems of a complicated question.

To solve AIDS, we need to test all the people, to discover first who has, there has never been a problem that is so easy to solve. If it were really an epidemic or pandemic, we would be testing everyone.

Highly ineffective people give complicated solutions… Hehehe

Like anything I, type above was simple.

Note, Hotels need maintenance people; the simple solution to effectively managing a Hotel is to focus on maintenance, and the cleaning of the toilet become easy because they have water to clean.

This is to focus on the root problem and be effective, or you can bring in carry water around the hotel, and the water is dirty because of the extremely ineffective work methods.

The job of management is not to manage people, it is to remove the obstacle of production. To Ease on down the road, not to push on down the road.

Highly Ineffective People

Losing The Plot

Losing The Plot
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 6, 2007

My friend in Manila, Philippines lost the plot, he started talking nonsense and being abusive. He was going to the Duck Inn too much, started getting asked to leave, which is hard in the Philippines to happens to drunks.

Then he was coming home one night from a somewhere at 5:00 in the morning with a Jeepney and must have run his mouth. Someone stabbed him to death.

That was a true story, he lost the plot.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting

Rudyard Kipling
(1865 - 1936) Indian-born British writer and poet.

I am thinking and trying to understand. There are times when everyone around are doing some really different things, and it is easier to join the crowd than to fight. I normally do not join in and one reason I leave be bongo heads behind and avoid tourist.

I do not dress African and I do not have braids in my hair. Not really true, I do dress like the normal African, but not the too much African.

My friend Robert, I met in the South of Spain has been traveling for a long time. I am not sure where he get the money or how, but he has been on the road for a long time. He is a good guy and likeable, friendly and a chef. I like Robert a lot, he is fun and interesting and has a quirky way of looking at life.

He has been in India for a long time now and travelers in India are often over the edge. It does not take a rocket scientist to see, that it is valuable to keep your head about you in India.

I have been reading this post, I subscribe to his writings by and receive in my email box. I sort of pointed out some ideas and helped him to set up the blog - newsletter. What is Robert up too…?

I often feel myself straying from the path and have to regroups and so a reposition of brain thingy.

Losing The Plot

Landmarks on Maps

Landmarks on Maps
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Friday, April 6, 2007

Everyday I have been in Kpalime, Togo I have gone to the Prefecture building of Kloto, Kpalime, Togo. I think maybe Kloto is the state, district, province, or tax district. The allotted area of land given to the bosses that be to collect money from their people… Hehehe

What is a Prefecture?
I have not gone at least 20 times and I do not know, I am not sure I care. I do think it is interesting to know, the word in the French language is Feminine in gender.

f prefecture, local government offices; préfecture de police police headquarters plural (2)

Ok, it is somehow the local government office, I somehow knew that in the back of my brain.

The Prefecture is my landmark, it the major, place, location of a building most of the Motos - Motorcycle Taxis know. I am in the Auberge, Mandela the Landmark is the Gomido Bar, but you should only say. Gomido.

For me to go to the Market, but first stop at my Citron or Lemon Juice stand, I walk out of the Mandela, look lost, a Moto beep, I try to find one that does not beep, I am doing Moto civil disobedience. I want them to stop beeping at me, so I try to find the ones that do not beep.

Stand for a second and some Motorcycle stops.

I say one word.
- Prefecture -

Preh Fech Tour

100 to 150 CFA later I am at the office of the Prefecture and I walk down the hill; pay 50 CFA for a cold extra big glass of Lemon Juice, sugar and some water.

I am at the Market, to go home. I say,
- Gomido -
GO Mee Doh

And for 100-150 CFA, I am back home.

I can say Marche or Mar Shay, this is French for Market, but that could mean many things, I want to go the far end of the market, away from the Mandela, and drink Juice, I do not want the walk through the market. I will walk back from the Citron stand, through the market, hunt for vegetable, buy some carrots, and apple etc and go on home by foot,

I live .73 Kilometers from the Market.
This means almost nothing to me.

I live about a 10-minute walk, this is important to know.
I live 100-150 on a motorcycle taxi ride from the Mandela to the Prefecture or from the Prefecture to the Gomido.

What is a landmark, I suppose it is literally the mark on the land, but to be easier to understand:

1. something prominent that identifies location: a prominent structure or geographic feature that identifies a location and serves as a guide to finding it (2)

What is a Prefecture, to the Kpalime people it probably where they go to see government people. Maybe it is the place, where they go and pay the fines, taxes, slide money under the table. It is a concept that has a word to use.

I look for landmarks to travel too and from, not much point with all the rest, the most tiresome thing in life is to constantly study maps with no landmarks.

I live on? what street? I have no idea, in fact, I do not know the name of one street in Kpalime, I have never seen a sign saying the street name. I may live near Fo Nono, whatever that is, or that is what Mawuli tells me, however he intuitively is blind to understanding anything but on and off switches or 0 and 1.

I travel more by landmarks than by maps, but a good map will have the landmarks, the Roughguide Guidebook, map has the Fan Milk and the Texaco Gas Station, thank you. I know someone on that one, had a clue, but maybe they are driving a car… hehehe

Cars need to know gas stations.

Ok, when I walk out of a Hotel, I try to find a landmark, a big something every taxi would know, then I grab a business card, walk away and hope I can return in this lifetime. I can say to the Taxi, take me home James, and say the Gomido here, or I can give a Taxi driver a Hotel Business and hope. Reading, can taxi drivers always read?

The will call the number sometimes now in the new world of cell phone and ask how to get to the hotel if there is anyone at the phone of my Mom and Pop hotel. But, if I know a well-know landmark, I would already be home.

I purchased a map today in a bookstore, it cost me 11 US dollars, this is about 1-3 week pay for many people here in Togo and out of sight expensive. Trop Cher

I am looking for a small village and the guidebook and the Encarta map in the computer is not detailed enough, and hard to show a person on my computer a map, the get too obsessed with the computer to help or stay focused and the guidebook is leading me from tourist place to tourist place where there is not really tourist.

It is interesting and fun to whip out a map and show locals, they will look at it upside down, sideways and after a long time, they will figure out with the help of a many opinions. Yep, that is Kpalime, most have never seen a good map of the country, and often cannot tell me the names of the very close cities. I use the map with a guy or girl wearing glasses.

Landmarks on Maps